Amber Riley wins best actress prize at WhatsOnStage Awards

Amber Riley won the Best Actress in a Musical prize at Britain’s WhatsOnStage Awards on Sunday night (20Feb17).

The former Glee star beat off competition from actresses including Sheridan Smith and Glenn Close to win the prize for her turn as Effie White in the West End stage adaptation of Dreamgirls.

Amber took to social media to share a picture of her posing in a purple dress with her award and thanked members of the British public for voting for her.

She wrote on Twitter, “Thank you so much for voting for me!” and on Instagram, she added, “Thank you!!!!! I’m so grateful (love heart emoji).”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the stage sequel of the popular book and movie franchise, was the big winner at the London awards ceremony, taking home eight prizes including Best New Play, Best Director for John Tiffany and acting prizes for Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle, who play Harry, Hermione and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius respectively.

Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper won Best Actress in a Play for Yerma, Charlie Stemp won Best Actor in a Musical for Half a Sixpence and his co-star Emma Williams won Best Supporting Actress in a Musical while Trevor Dion Nicholas won the male equivalent for his turn as the Genie in the stage version of Disney’s Aladdin.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage adaptation of Jack Black comedy School of Rock was voted Best New Musical, while Funny Girl was named Best Musical Revival and No Man’s Land, which starred Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, won the Best Play Revival.

Theatre mogul Cameron Mackintosh was honoured with the Equity Award for Lifetime Achievement and long-running shows Wicked and Les Miserables were joint winners of the Best West End Show prize.